Understanding a customer’s journey has always been a challenge for marketers, and frankly there hasn’t been an easy way to go about it. However, irrespective of how well you map your customer’s journey, it comes with both positives and negatives. And like any other marketing documentation and research, it boils down to two things:
- Identifying the goal and the purpose behind it.
- Knowing how to apply and use it.
So, before getting down to the nitty-gritty details of how to create the perfect customer journey map, let’s unearth the very nature of the same.
What Is Customer Journey Mapping?
To cut a long story short, a customer journey map is a compact visual representation of an end-to-end customer experience. To be more precise, a customer journey map gives a detailed insight into all the places and touchpoints in which your customers come into contact with your brand, including both online and offline data. The whole point behind devising a customer journey map is to help you look at your brand from a customer’s viewpoint.
Here is how a typical customer journey map would look.
However, there is no official cheat sheet or template for mapping the customer journey simply because no two customer journeys can be the same. That said you can construct a basic customer journey map using the following steps. Feel free to tweak it all you want to suit your brand.
Without further ado, let us uncover the comprehensive six-step guide to creating the perfect customer journey map.
1. Nail Your Customer Persona
The first and most significant step in creating a customer journey map is understanding who your customers are. So, to do that, it is advisable to create different buyer personas. This way, you can get into their shoes to understand their psyche, how they behave, and why they do what they do. Of course, as discussed in the previous section, every customer journey is unique, but devising these customer personas will provide a little guidance and input needed to map the journey.
2. Comprehend your Customer’s Goals
Now that you have your customer personas built, it is time to dig a little deeper and comprehend what they intend to achieve. For instance, while one of your personas might be at a stage where they are researching all the available options, another might be seeking reassurance as to whether he/she is paying the right price.
One of the best ways to go about this is to identify and plot all the paths that your visitor might take on your site. In case your visitor is a pre-existing customer, the first thing that they might do is log in. Other activities may include browsing for products, drawing comparisons and much more. Once you have jotted down the list of activities, you will be able to identify all the goals associated with every single touchpoint.
3. Map Out Different Buyer Touchpoints
A touchpoint is when a customer comes in contact with your brand at any time before, during or after they have made a purchase from you. And this includes moments that happen offline, online, through in-person marketing or over the phone as well. As a brand, you must ensure that your customers feel positive about your brand at all touchpoints, and that being said, you might have to give more importance to some touchpoints than others.
For instance, consider the hotel industry. A bad check-in experience can taint the entire stay irrespective of the other offerings.
So, you need consider all the customer touchpoints. This way, you won’t miss out on any opportunity to listen to your customers and make the necessary amendments to make them happy.
4. Lastly, Identify Customer Pain Points
Once you’ve done all the above steps, it’s time for the finale. This step is where you collate all the data both qualitative and quantitative and have a look at the finer details to identify potential roadblocks and pain points that often hinder a hassle-free customer journey. You can also utilize this step to identify the areas in which you are currently struggling to get things right and also figure out the room for improvement.
In case you want to look at the bigger picture with more first-hand information, it is advisable that you also interview customers and customer-facing staff to get down to the problems that they face in ground reality. In case you are stuck, here are a few potential questions that could kick-start your process:
- Are your customers achieving their goals on your website?
- What are the main areas of friction and frustration?
- Why are people abandoning their purchases?
Once you get a clear picture of where your customers are facing roadblocks, mark them on your customer journey map. And voila! You have finally created a perfect and comprehensive customer journey map!
Want to understand your buyer personas and identify your customer pain points? Get in touch with our experts at Spinta Digital!